By: Chosen by Rebecca M Newman & Sally Murphy
Illustrated by: Briony Stewart
Genre: YDP - Poetry (Children's / Teenage)
Published by: Fremantle Press
Published: 27 Feb 2024
ISBN: 9781760993429


Featuring entertaining poems with themes of animals and nature, this is a great introduction to the wonder of poetry for middle readers, and is complete with stunning illustrations on every page.

Stand on your head with Sally Murphy, explode some dynamite with Cristy Burne or shoot some hoops with Cheryl Kickett-Tucker. Grow a poettree with Meg McKinlay or curl up next to your cat with Amber Moffat and watch a bit of Stink-o-Vision with James Foley. These and loads more poems by Australian poets are there to discover in Right Way Down. With striking illustrations by Briony Stewart, these poems will have you laughing, thinking, and playing with words - whichever way you read them.

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We are always on the lookout for quality Australian primary level poetry, and this is a great collection. I didn’t realise that we had so many talented West Australian writers until I read this!

Compiled by Rebecca Newman and Sally Murphy, whose works are included amongst this wonderful collection of Western Australian writers, is a terrific group of poems to suit all primary readers.

A few of the highlights for me were:

  • Sick - about a child's need to prove that they are too unwell to attend school, only to discover that it is the weekend!

  • Misty, the rock hunter, Greedy and You are Here – all three poems depict dogs and their inability to retrieve.

  • Here – which shows the love of a cat

  • Lovin’ Basketball – Told in rap, this is great for sport lovers!

  • The boy with the dynamite idea – The true story of Alfred Nobel growing up and his lasting legacy.

  • A gardener’s guide to poetry – guides readers through how to grow a poem, by nurturing ideas.

  • Birak – a First Nations' story of a fledgling bird venturing from the nest.

  • Sunday 3pm and Umbrella tree – which illustrate the warmth and safety of home and happy places.

I know this is already a long list, but I loved this selection of poems and could have highlighted so many more. This will be a valued addition to school libraries helping to fill a gap in quality Australian poetry collections for middle grade readers.

Reviewed by Rob